Coach warns: Win this or 'plan for something else'
NORTHSIDERS coach Michael Hillier has thrown down the challenge to his bowlers.
Perform tomorrow, or start thinking about something other than cricket.
To some it may seem a harsh summation. But with Brothers left reeling at 3/32 at stumps on day one last weekend, Hillier knows his team is in a perfect position to defeat last season's champions.
"The reality is, we have to win this game. If we don't we can go start planning to do something else,” Hillier said.
"We need to take some ownership and play well. If we can do that, I think we have a good enough side to win some more games and challenge for the finals. If we stand up and bowl well, we can come back after Christmas and give it a shot. But we need to improve a lot.”
Referencing a recent loss to Laidley where he labelled Norths' batting as "weak”, Hillier said there was still plenty of improvement left in his team.
"But the good news is we're all sticking together and having a crack. I'm looking forward to seeing how we go on Saturday,” the coach said.
Hillier admitted he would have liked "another 40-50 more runs” than the 238-run total Norths notched last weekend.
But he saw enough from his bowlers, as well as some concerning batting trends from the Brothers top order, to believe the total is a defendable one.
"(Taylor) Peach came out last weekend like he was playing a game of T20. He was swinging at every ball,” Hillier said.
"He had 30 minutes to bat and was swinging at everything.
"It will be interesting to see if he keeps the same game plan. Good luck to him if it comes off, but I thought it was pretty ordinary.”
Peach has been in strong hitting form for Brothers this season, as has the opposite man at the crease Michael Ridgewell.
With Luke Dixon also waiting in the wings, the Brethren still have plenty of firepower to work their way back into the contest.
Hillier hopes debutante Toby Kerswell can continue his good form tomorrow. The left-armer went 2/15 last weekend.
"He's been a handy pick-up for his. He brings a bit of pace and aggression to what we do,” Hillier said. "Hopefully he can come out again and put a few past them.”
Tomorrow (12pm) - Northsiders (238) v Brothers (3/32 res.) at Ivor Marsden Oval 2.